Clemons leads Camels by Charleston Southern 92-82

Chris Clemons
(Will Bratton photo)
Chris Clemons (Will Bratton photo)

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Box Score (PDF)

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Chris Clemons scored a career-high 37 points and Campbell tied a school record for fewest turnovers in a game (3) in a 92-82 win over Charleston Southern Wednesday at Gore Arena.

Clemons' effort was the most by a Campbell player in Gore Arena history, passing Darren White's 36-point output against Appalachian State in November 2012, and eclipsed his 31-point turnout in last year's win over The Citadel.

Shane Whitfield added 17 points, including 9-of-10 from the line, for the Camels (9-6, 2-1 Big South), who made six more free throws (29-38) than the visitors attempted (17-23). Mogga Lado and Marcus Burk added 11 points apiece for the Camels, who had only one turnover in the second half.

Campbell's three miscues matched the mark the team set at Samford on Feb. 2, 1995 and propelled the Camels to a 17-1 advantage in points off turnovers.

The Camels trailed by 12 in the opening period, but cut the deficit to one by the half.  Down 47-46 with less than 13:00 remaining, a five-point trip by Burk gave the Camels the lead for good.  Thomas fouled Burk on a three-point attempt and the freshman from Indianapolis made the first two shots before missing the third. Damontez Oliver, however, grabbed the rebound and fed Burk for a trey that put the Camels ahead 51-47 and ignited a decisive 15-3 run.

Clemons capped the rally with a trey that gave the Camels a 59-50 lead with 10:09 to go.  CSU narrowed the gap to three on two occasions, but Campbell knocked down 13 of 15 from the line in the last 1:54 to seal their second Big South win.

Inside the 3-point line, Campbell made 12-of-15 shots in the second half (80 percent).  The Camels also played turnover-free basketball for the last 15 minutes of the game.

"Our defense fueled our comeback in the first half," said Campbell head coach Kevin McGeehan. "Then we came out confident in the second half because of the way we closed out the first.  I think we are going to continue to grow as a team because we have a lot of young guys, but I like the way this team is attacking on both ends of the floor."

Charleston Southern shot 57 percent from the floor on the night, but the Camels neutralized the Buccaneers (4-10, 0-3) on the glass, finishing with a 29-28 edge and outscoring the visitors 10-5 in seonc-chance opportunities.

Jamal Thomas scored a career-high 19 points in his first career start for Charleston Southern.  Armel Potter added 18 points, Jamar Martin 13 and Christian Keeling 12 for the Bucs, who finished 9-of-19 from 3-point range.

Lado reached double figures for the first time since a 13-point effort vs. Colgate on Dec. 3 by making 4-of-5 from the floor. He pulled down a team-high 6 rebounds in just 15 minutes.  Burk hit 3-of-4 threes, and Kyre' Hamer dealt a season-high six assists, while finishing with only one turnover in 34 minutes.

Clemons hit 13-of-24 from the floor and 8-of-9 from the line, while adding 2 assists and 2 steals without a turnover in 38 minutes.

"Mogga really, really competed around the rim tonight," said McGeehan. "Chris was patient and as the game wore on, the attacked the defense in his own way."

Campbell shot an even 50 percent from the floor (28-56) on the night, made 7-of-22 threes (.318) and canned 76.3 percent from the line to add to its Big South-leading team free throw percentage (.752 entering the game).

Charleston Southern hit 9 of its first 15 shots, including 4-of-6 threes, and led 32-20 when Jamal Thomas connected on a corner three with 4:48 left in the opening half.

However, Damontez Oliver's three started a 15-3 Camel burst.  Clemons scored 12 of his 16 first-half points in the final 4:57. He nailed a 25-foot pull-up three; then converted an old-fashioned 3-point play with 21.4 seconds left to tie the score at 35.

Charleston Southern led 36-35 at half-time after hitting 54.5 percent (12-22) of its shots, 6-of-10 from 3-point range, but committed 8 turnovers, which the Camels converted into 10 points. Martin came off the bench to score 11 first-half points on 4-of-4 shooting, including a trio of threes.

After a 3-for-11 start from the field, Campbell made 9 of its last 17 shots in the first period. Whitfield had 8 points before going to the bench with his second foul with 9:03 left in the opening half.

Campbell begins a two-game road stretch Saturday with a 2:00 p.m. tip at Liberty.